Bella & Beau 2019: Farewell Osprey, A Season Finale
Osprey nest location: Cambridge, Maryland, Chesapeake Bay Region, USA
September 16, 2019
I left us with my last post of September 10th, Momma Bella had left for migration and my last sighting of teen Bonita was September 8th so I mentioned she could have left as well. She had. I never sighted her again.
That left Dad Beau watching over and encouraging younger sibling, Brad. I knew Brad’s instinct to migrate was imminent. But I still didn’t expect it when it happened.
I last saw Brad and Dad Beau September 11th, the day after my last post. I’ve sighted neither since, so yep, that was too quick. In fact, I hadn’t seen any sightings of other Osprey in the area for the last couple days until today, a lone one off in the distance.
Now An Empty Nest (Literally) Until March 2020
I’m glad I watched Brad a few times when he did visit the nest for those two days before he left. He gave a couple nice series to share with you.
During those last two days when Brad arrived at the nest, I could see he was always somewhat wet. His feathers also showed a lot of wear and tear from the dives and soakings. So that meant he was trying to fish, probably even succeeding at times. He was most likely coming to the nest when he was tired. It was easier to beg, right? But his beggings were ignored by Dad Beau who I could usually find on the water tower, a sailboat mast, or in his tree keeping a watch over Brad.
Brad doing some begging
Brad still cracked me up, begging a bit, looking at Beau to see if he was responding, and then sit and pout and watch the fish swimming below him.
Brad watching small fish swimming about below
Catching me off-guard on the take-off, Brad chanced a dive from the nest but came up empty-talon.
Brad lifting out of the water after diving for a fish
Brad climbed and flew up to pass alongside me on my balcony…
and gave me this next awesome photo opportunity to catch him shaking off the water. At download, I was thrilled! Thank you, Brad!!
Brad’s “Shake it, baby!”
Brad flew back up to the nest platform and gave Dad Beau a glance over on the sailboat mast.
“Dad, I tried! Donna got a photo to prove it!”
Fishing from the nest is not practical for an Osprey, but I guess it’s tempting to a teen to give it a try.
I believed Brad could fish for himself evidenced by his full, healthy body and Beau’s refusal to deliver; but I am glad I captured a beautiful series of awesome Dad Beau giving Brad a break and delivering a fish to him one more time.
Enjoy Beau’s gorgeous wing maneuvers as he brings the fish in while an excited Brad, for once, patiently waits til Beau has landed and doesn’t go all martial-arts on him. Probably because Brad knows Bonita’s not around to swoop in to try and take it! 😉
Dad Beau delivers a fish to Brad
Beau flew to his favorite tree across the creek to take watch again over Brad
Brad decided to fly over to the telephone pole to the left of Beau’s tree to eat his fish
(the gulls are hoping for a leftover morsel!)
A final three photos from those last two days…..
Handsome Brad ready for migration
Brad practicing his martial-arts moves – “Hi-yah!“
Today, Bella, Beau, Bonita, and Brad, as all other migrating Osprey, are each flying alone, heading to Central or South America for a toasty winter. Bella could already be at her wintering grounds, fishing and rejuvenating in her tropical paradise. Nice thought!
Oh, let’s take a quick trip down memory lane….
Bella & Beau will winter apart and return next March 2020. Remember their two chicks from last year? If those two did well, they will also be returning to the Chesapeake Bay region that same March after their 1½ years away. They will not know their parents and may be a hundred miles away hunting for a mate, there are no longer any family ties. And finally, Bonita & Brad, they will stay in Central or South America for their 1½ years’ vacay and return March 2021.
Bon voyage, Osprey, may you fly strong and stay safe to return to us for another season!
I hope you’ve enjoyed the fascinating 27-week breeding season life cycle of the Osprey and maybe learned a thing or two. This bird is found on every continent around the world except Antarctica and was almost extinguished from existence with the human use of pesticide DDT until its ban. Now thriving once again, the Osprey has made a tremendous comeback. Aren’t we very lucky!!
By the way…..did I make an Osprey lover out of you? 😊
P.S. Thank you very much for following along Bella & Beau’s season and for the wonderful, kind, awesome, and beautiful comments so many of you left. I also thank my wonderful husband who has put up with my time at the computer to create these posts, as well as his help in alerting me to ‘something going on’ so many times. And of course, thank you Osprey Bella, Beau, Bonita, and Brad, you made the summer extra-special for me!